On Saturday Cult of Mac reported that a working Apple 1 failed to sell at auction in Germany, a notable result in the growing market for vintage Apple collectibles. It turns out that result was premature: the Apple 1 did sell for €246,000 ($330,000), after bidding on the item had closed.
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What does it take to be a vintage Mac collector?
A love of all things Apple and an encyclopedic knowledge of the many successful, unsuccessful and downright notorious products Cupertino has released over the years are a given. But the job can be more perilous than you’d imagine.
Just ask Adam Goolevitch. Known as “wozniac” on eBay, Adam is one of the premier vintage Mac collectors around. In just he last couple of months, some of Googlevitch’s rarest finds — including a 128k Mac with a 5.25” Twiggy floppy disk drive and a Macintosh SE with a clear outer case — have hit the web and sparked a flurry of interest.
But collecting these Macs isn’t always easy. From almost losing a finger to a PowerMac G4 Cube to mistakenly being investigated by the police under the suspicion of dealing drugs instead of Macs, Googlevitch has some wild stories to tell that prove that being a vintage Mac collector isn’t necessarily for the faint of heart.
Cult of Mac sat down with Adam to hear some of his adventures and also get the scoop on the rarest machines in his collection.
2012 has been a good year for vintage Macs surfacing from obscurity. Earlier this year we brought you news about an original 128k Mac with 5.25’ Twiggy floppy disk for sale on eBay. This same owner contacted Cult of Mac recently to share some photos of his latest rare find: a prototype Macintosh SE with a clear plastic outer case, used for engineering air flow studies.
Who says all old Macs were beige?
Breaking fake news site Scoopertino is reporting that Apple has decided to take a retro approach with their new product offering, a re-release of the venerable Apple II microcomputer. An Apple press release (apparently) notes:
The Apple II gave birth to the computer industry. Now it’s pregnant again — this time with unlimited possibilities.
Old computers never really die, they just get passed on to grandkids and collectors. Likewise old computer users never die, they just don’t get out as much as they used to. The internet is an unfriendly place for 8 bit processors and dialup modems.
To help relive old memories and make new ones, several festivals dedicated to computers with no commercial value make the rounds each year. This year for our vintage geek pleasures: the perennial Apple II bash called KansasFest, and the Vintage Computer Festival East.
A rare and interesting Apple prototype surfaced on eBay recently, and although the auction has since ended we thought it notable enough to merit mention. A 1993 prototype called a WALT – Wizzy Active Lifestyle Telephone – combined a telephone, fax, personal address book and more with a HyperCard user interface. It never shipped, but this vaporware breakthrough netted the seller a cool $8000 on eBay.
As the Mac approaches its thirtieth birthday and its progeny, the iPhone and iPad, grow to eclipse their parent, the resale and collector values of vintage Macs is steadily increasing. One of the things attractive to collectors when looking for old systems is original packaging – outer boxes and inside accessory packs. Such items add to period completeness and can significantly increase the value of an item.
Nice job Blake – a classic icon, in a classic iconic style. Sweet!
- Image Blake Patterson
Back in 1978, an upstart young company named Apple Computer moved into their new headquarters at 10260 Bandley Drive, Cupertino CA. Known soon after as Bandley 1, one of Apple’s first employees, Chris Espinosa, sketched out a floormap of the offices and labs in the new building. A copy of this document was recently found and posted on his website, Posterous.
The past few weeks have seen the passing of a number of computing giants. The world learned this week that Dennis Ritchie, the computer scientist who helped create the UNIX operating system and C programming language, passed away at the age of 70. This software was the progenitor of much of modern computing, including Mac OS X and iOS, and was born (ironically) out of the need to play computer games!